“We’re all buying our views,” she explained. “So now we’re more homed in on the earned rate we want.”
AB InBev starts studying that earned rate whenever the campaign starts – whether that’s a teaser of the Super Bowl spot, or a pre-release of the entire ad on YouTube. The earned rate lets her assess what consumers think of the creative, and lets her optimize the ad. She can for instance put more spend behind the 30-second spot if it performs better than the 60.
Other metrics include number of mentions, and the sentiment behind those mentions, which let her figure out what people think of the brand and whether or not the message resonates.
“This can tell us whether [the spot] might drive key message metrics for us, drive consideration, drive purchase intent,” Vaynberg said. “That’s the immediate evaluation we look at that week.”
But the goal is really to tie all of that information into the full year’s performance. Only in evaluating the Super Bowl buy within an extended time period can AB InBev decide what its Super Bowl week activity is actually worth.
“We get into our offline sales metrics where we look back and evaluate what that spot did for the brand, and what it did for sales – essentially, how much did it drive the following year?” Vaynberg said.
Jason DeLand, founding partner of the agency Anomaly added: “With an investment that size, you better be driving some sort of sales metric.”